George Harrison’s foundation donates $500,000 towards COVID-19 relief

Also launching The Inner Light Challenge to raise an additional $100,000.

George Harrison Portrait

Photo: Michael Putland / Getty Images

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George Harrison’s Material World foundation has made a $500,000 donation to COVID-19 relief efforts. The funds go towards supporting several charitable causes, including MusiCare’s COVID-19 Relief Fund, the Save The Children foundation, and Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders).

The Material World foundation was founded in 1973 by George Harrison, coinciding the release of the musician’s album of the same name.

The foundation also launches a new social media campaign called “The Inner Light Challenge”, which asks people to upload a video of themselves performing a verse, chorus or line from The Beatles tune, The Inner Light, and tag it with #innerlight2020.

“These lyrics sung by George are a positive reminder to all of us who are isolating, in quarantine or respecting the request to shelter in place.” Says Olivia Harrison, wife of the late Beatle, “Let’s get and stay connected at this difficult time. There are things we can do to help and we invite you to share your Inner Light.”

The Material World foundation have stated that they will be further donating $1 for each of these submissions – to a maximum of $100,000. George Harrison’s son, Dhani Harrison, has kicked off the challenge with his rendition of the song, singing along to the drone of a Tibetan singing bowl. Take a look here:

In recent news, Dhani Harrison spoke to Rolling Stone on reviving his father’s Dark Horse Records, which plans to put out some previously unheard material from its extensive back catalogue.

“It’s the family business, as they say,” Harrison remarks, “It’s funny — if you’re a plumber and want to be in the family plumbing business, no one would think anything about that. That would be normal. But in our family, the family business is music, so I’m just doing what mum and dad did. No one is making us do it. We have to do it.”

Niko Fraiture, bassist for The Strokes has also responded to the challenge, sharing this post on his Instagram account:

More musicians each day are making monetary contributions to the fight against COVID-19. Just a few days ago, Boston songwriter James Taylor made a $1 million dollar donation to his local hospital.

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